Level of Social Perspective Taking and the Development of Empathy in Children: Speculations from a Social‐Cognitive Viewpoint

Journal of Moral Education 5 (1):35-43 (1975)
Abstract: A cognitive?developmental approach to the phenomenon of empathy attempts to describe the age related (but not age specific) development of empathic understanding as a function of the development of basic social?cognitive processes and concepts. Recent research indicates that there are developmental levels in the process by which the child comes to know how his own view of self and other relates to the view of other (social perspective?taking) and related levels in conceptions of persons. Drawing upon our own research as well as the theory of J. M. Baldwin, G. H. Mead, and L. Kohlberg, we describe these developing processes and concepts and hypothesize as to the relation of social perspective?taking to each level of developing forms of empathic understanding
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